Recently, I did something I rarely do; I posted a YouTube video and some other articles about the Covid-19 situation on my personal and author Facebook pages.
Typically, I avoid posting about hot-button issues. I stick to pictures of my grandkids, photos I take of nature and sunsets, and a weekly link to my website. So, to say I got some “reaction” about the YouTube video would be an understatement. Some loved what I posted; others, not-so-much.
Believe me; I understand that everyone has opinions, and there are a lot of strong opinions out there about the pandemic.
And it’s okay that you have passionate personal opinions. Really. As Shaquille O’Neal once said, “Opinions are like belly buttons: Everybody has one.” (Of course, a guy that big and tough could be wrong, and I’d never tell him so.)
But Shaq is right. If you’re breathing, you have feelings, thoughts, ideas, and opinions about a lot of things. Welcome to America! Land of the free. Home of the brave, and platform for free speech. Isn’t it remarkable that you can share what you think about anything and everything and not fear being arrested? I love our country.
That being said, I was surprised by the rancor and harshness of some who reacted to my pandemic post. Indeed, no one has to agree with me, but I have the right to my beliefs and opinions too, and I shouldn’t have to wear body armor when I share something.
Sadly, however, here’s the attitude of too many in our culture: You’re an idiot if you don’t agree with me!
Granted, you might be smarter, better educated, and more well-read than I, but there’s never a place for arrogance or meanness in our relationships.
I’ve said it often; you can be right, but if you’re not relational, you’re wrong. (Jesus made loving our neighbor the second greatest commandment—even when they’re wrong.)
Here’s another personal opinion: Any relationship based solely on the agreement of opinions is a weak relationship.
On the contrary, a healthy relationship is built on far more than merely agreeing with each other about everything. Healthy relationships are built on a choice to love others even when they’re unlovely and wrong.
We can disagree. We can vocalize our views. We can—and should—speak the truth to one another, but we must always do so in love. We shouldn’t ever treat anyone with vile and hateful ugliness—not if we want to be like Jesus.
You have an opinion. I have an opinion. Good. Great. Got it! But we fail relationally—and miserably so—when we use our convictions as an assault weapon against another human being. (A human created in the image of God and priceless to Him, by the way.)
Here’s what love sounds like: “I think I’m right, and you’re wrong, but I will not let my potential rightness become a barrier in our relationship. You matter more to me than that.”
The Apostle Paul said, “It doesn’t matter what I say, or how eloquent or profoundly I say it, if I don’t have love, I come off as an annoying gong—just an irritating noise” (1 Cor. 13:1, Bubna paraphrase).
So, form opinions. Hold dearly to your strong beliefs. Tell others and post away. It’s all fine and dandy, but please don’t allow your need to be right to blow up your far greater need (and biblical mandate) to be relational.
Love. First. Foremost. Always.
For the record, aren’t you glad God chose to love you and me while we were still wrong?
Love is large and incredibly patient.
Love is gentle and consistently kind to all.
It refuses to be jealous s when blessing comes to someone else.
Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.
Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor.
Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (TPT)